Oil prices have retreated from over $100/barrel at the middle of 2014 to less than $30/barrel at the start of 2016, putting pressure on the government finances of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries.
Saudi Deputy Crown Prince Amir Muhammad bin Salman Al Saud recently proposed the privatization of the national oil company, Aramco. Many analysts’ initial reaction was that Saudi Arabia must be in dire straits if it is even considering—let alone actually implementing—such a policy.
In a market that is traditionally dominated by the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries—Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the UAE— Russia has recently entered the fray, and Iran, as well as Iraq are keen to make up for lost time from sanctions and supply disruptions, respectively.
“You can’t run a business based on sympathies,” the controversial billionaire oil broker, Marc Rich once said. The business of oil is no different; it lubricates the region. And as the price of oil has taken a hit from a high last year of $115 a barrel to $50 a barrel, many are casting about for reasons as to why.
THE ANCIENT Chinese philosopher Mencius once said, “A state without an enemy or external peril is absolutely doomed.” Today, the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) is not faced with one enemy but a growing number of enemies.
There has been widespread debate regarding the environmental risks of hydraulic fracturing, especially concerns about ground water contamination. The shale oil and gas industry is built on the technology of hydraulic fracturing, and it has made vast amounts of oil and gas shale resources extractable at reasonable costs.
With the US Presidential elections set to take place in a year’s time and with the growing disillusionment with the Obama administration and troubles in the region; to the GCC, understanding who may win is of vital importance.
The surge in shale oil supply has changed previous perceptions of oil market dynamics. The US shale oil industry succeeded in doubling US oil output in a few years, specifically after the 2008 financial crisis and up to 2014.
As he basked in the glory of an unexpectedly strong victory in the 2015 UK General Election, Prime Minister David Cameron could reflect upon an especially rare occurrence: the incumbent party strengthening its Parliamentary position after a first term.
Virtual water is a relatively new concept that emerged in the mid-nineties. Virtual water is the amount of water consumed for the production of agricultural commodities which are then exported to water scarce areas, thus international food trade can be seen as trade in virtual water.
The prolonged Syrian civil has exasperated Iran’s foreign policy. For four long years, Tehran feverishly propped up Assad’s regime through various means: extending generous credit to the government, manpower for militias, transforming a once professional army into...
Following the savage murder of its hero pilot Lt. Muath As-Kaseasbeh early this year, Jordan’s posture on the battlefield against extremism in general and the highly visible face of terrorism today that is Daesh is firm at the forefront.
One the most important developments in the field of energy in the current decade is the sharp and sustained improvement in the economic feasibility of the technologies used in renewable energy generation.